Shelter Masthead

Mongolian Cloud Houses

Table of Contents

Sample Chapters
Putting it All Together

The Sweatlodge


About the Author

Paul Dembsky
Dan Frank Kuehn grew up in the back of a North Dakota grocery store owned by his parents, Walter and Ann Kuehn. His father died in 1960, and Ann and her three sons, Jack, 13, Dan, 8, and Herb, 7, left the vast prairie for the relatively metropolitan Moorhead, Minnesota.

Dan graduated from Moorhead High School, and enrolled in a two-year course in commercial art at Moorhead Area Vocational Technical Institute. So much for formal education.

In the summer of 1970, Dan, 19, and his brother Herb, 18, floated 2,000 miles down the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, from Bismarck, North Dakota to Memphis, Tennessee, searching for adventure.

After the trip commercial art no longer seemed like an attractive occupation, and after a few years of hitchhiking in the U.S. and Europe, Dan ended up in Taos, New Mexico in 1973, and was enchanted by both the place and people. He was hired on as janitor at a free school in Taos and worked there for three years.

He became interested in yurts and Mongolian culture in 1975, encouraged by the fl ourishing northern New Mexico alternative lifestyle scene. After many models and experiments, Dan spent a few years living in yurts he built himself (1976–1980), and completed the writing and drawing of the original Mongolian Cloud Houses in 1980.

Then Dan moved to Maui, Hawaii, and for 20 years he worked as a landscape designer. Native plant landscaping and garden guest house managing were his main occupations when along came the opportunity to revive his book on yurts.

He re-immersed himself in the subject. With the encouragement of his editors, Dan began an extensive rewrite to update the material and expand the scope of the book, with the addition of many new illustrations. Mongolian Cloud Houses is back, a romantic yet practical introduction to this ancient, elegant, nomadic dwelling.

Dan Frank Kuehn currently lives in Taos, New Mexico, designing advertising for artists and small businesses, as well as writing, teaching, and making strange noises.